Transforming the teaching of reading – Language Magazine
1. Millions of people, including me, have learned to read with the help of Reading fluency. Why change such a successful product? Although Reading fluency has evolved, the educational design of the program remains the same. Transformations in reading fluency is based on the pedagogy of Direct Instruction of explicit and systematic teaching. Thus, teachers can be sure that even if they see new content or skills being taught, the way it is taught is based on the sound instructional design that is at the heart of direct instruction programs. Together with the authors, we identified areas of interest for changes and improvements.
For example, teachers will find improvements in several areas, including vocabulary, comprehension, writing, and collaboration. Despite this, the primary levels continue to provide a strong basic skills approach that aligns with the recommendations for learning to read. We also wanted to take advantage of technology to solve an important problem for teachers – not enough time!
Through interviews and teachers’ observations, we found that most teachers assess student progress, but there are not enough teachers analyzing the data and acting on that data. One of the main obstacles is time.
Analyzing the data and gathering the resources once you have identified a problem takes a tremendous amount of time. Now the teachers of Transformations in reading fluency will access remedy summary information that analyzes group data in real time and identifies areas requiring further assistance. Taking it a step further, teachers will see repair courses designed to meet these needs. Teachers do not need to search and collect information because it will be close at hand.
2. What theories of reading acquisition led to the updating of Reading fluency? In development Transformations in reading fluency, the authors took into account feedback directly from teachers using the programs. Other changes came from a review of state ELA standards, instructional materials, and state assessments. Many of them have increased the inclusion of informational text. Therefore, we found it necessary to find a better balance between literature and informational texts during an instructional lesson. This change ensures that students are prepared for entering middle and high school.
3. Reading acquisition rates appear to have slowed during school closures. How can teachers help students learn to read from a distance? The distance learning environment poses a significant challenge, especially for students in the early stages of learning to read. Consider the impact this type of delivery model could have on oral language acquisition or the development of phonological awareness. Additionally, we know that young students experience distractions in their home environment, technical and connection issues, and lack of real contact with a teacher and peers.
As students return to brick and mortar, our first step is to determine the degree of learning loss. Recent reports indicate that these losses are significant, especially in schools which serve mainly students of color. Once we have identified the degree of loss, the next step is to help students with opportunities to accelerate their learning. For some students, this means increasing the time and intensity of teaching reading. Transformations in reading fluency is designed to meet students where they are and accelerate their learning through an evidence-based pedagogical model. With the transformations of reading fluency, we are ready to help students reach their full potential.
Kelly McGrath is Director of Studies for the McGraw Hill School Group.